FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Tipton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Sonya Marie Hill, 32, of Covington, after a joint investigation with the Covington Police Department. Hill was served on the charge while she was being arraigned in a Tipton County Criminal Court on charges related to this case. Charges accuse her of obtaining the anti-anxiety medication Alprazolam with TennCare benefits, and selling a portion of the drug.
“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they often discover a TennCare element during local drug investigations,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Hill could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, 2,142 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."